The Jagiellonians

This Project is now complete

The Jagiellonians: Dynasty, Memory and Identity in Central Europe is a major 5-year research project (2013-18), funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant and based at the History Faculty, led by Dr Natalia Nowakowska.


Research Aims

The Jagiellonians were one of the most important dynasties in Renaissance Europe, ruling lands which constitute no fewer than 14 present-day states. This was a royal dynasty which for two centuries flourished – paradoxically - in the elective monarchies of Central Europe. It has been heavily mythologised, eulogised, criticised and argued over ever since in those lands, though the Jagiellonians remain little known in the English-speaking world.

This project aims to offer a new study of the Jagiellonians, which focuses on them as a major international political phenomenon. It uses the Jagiellonians as a case-study to explore how dynasties functioned and what they were in Renaissance Europe. It examines the Jagiellonians' legacy by looking at the highly divergent ways in which they have been remembered across Central Europe.

By tracing the evolving meanings attributed to the Jagiellonians from the late middle ages until the present day, the project will offer a metahistory of the dynasty. It aims to fill a gap in our knowledge of Europe in the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, by putting the Jagiellonians fully back in the picture, alongside the Habsburgs, Tudors, Bourbons, Borgias, Medici and other celebrated royal houses of late medieval and Renaissance Europe.


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